March 2005



Uruguay: Tabaré Vázquez takes office as president. Rodolfo Nin Novoa becomes vice president, Reinaldo Gargano foreign minister, Azucena Berrutti defense minister, Danilo Astori finance minister, and José Díaz interior minister.


Bala Gaye
The Gambia: Margaret Keita is appointed finance minister, replacing Musa Gibril Bala Gaye. She is sworn in on March 10. Bala Gaye is appointed foreign minister on March 24. Baboucarr Jatta is appointed interior minister on March 29 and is sworn in on March 31.
India: Shibu Soren is sworn in as chief minister of Jharkhand. He resigns on March 11, and Arjun Munda is appointed chief minister. Munda is sworn in on March 12 and wins a vote of confidence on March 15 (40-37 with 2 abstentions).



French Polynesia: Oscar Temaru is elected president with 29 votes against 26 for Gaston Tong Sang from the Tahoeraa Huiraatira party. On March 7 Temaru names Émile Vanfasse finance minister.
Russia: Boris Zolotarev is confirmed by the local legislative assembly as governor of Evenkia autonomous okrug (23-0) and Pavel Ipatov is confirmed by the local parliament as governor of Saratov oblast (35-0).


Cyprus: The president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Rauf Denktas, gives a mandate to Mehmet Ali Talat to form a government. Denktas approves Talat's new government (the same as the one which resigned in October 2004) on March 8. It wins a vote of confidence on March 16 (29-19).
India: The chief minister of Goa, Pratapsing Rane, wins a confidence vote (17-16) in the state assembly, but the federal cabinet decides to put the state under president's rule.

India: Bhupinder Singh Hooda is appointed chief minister of Haryana. He is sworn in on March 5.

Portugal: The new cabinet is announced, which, with José Sócrates as prime minister, is sworn in on March 12. Diogo Freitas do Amaral is foreign minister, Luís Amado defense minister, Luís Campos e Cunha finance minister, and António Costa interior minister.
Switzerland: Former president of the government of Thurgau (1969-70, 1974-75, 1977-78, 1981-82) Erich Böckli dies.
United States: President George W. Bush nominates Stephen L. Johnson to become administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.


Moldova: In parliamentary elections, the Communist Party wins 46% of the vote (56 of 101 seats), the Democratic Moldova bloc 28.5% (34), and the Christian Democrats 9.1% (11). Turnout is 64.8%.


Bolivia: President Carlos Mesa offers his resignation to Congress, which unanimously rejects the offer on March 8.
India: The government puts the state of Bihar under president's rule.
South Korea: Finance Minister Lee Hun Jai resigns. On March 14 Han Duck Soo is appointed finance minister.
United States: John R. Bolton is nominated as representative to the United Nations.


Guinea: In a cabinet reshuffle, Foreign Minister Mamady Condé is replaced by Fatoumata Kaba.
Federated States of Micronesia: In parliamentary elections, 10 nonpartisan candidates are elected to the 10 available seats.


Russia: The president of the separatist government of Chechnya, Aslan Maskhadov, is killed by Russian troops. Abdul-Khalim Sadulayev becomes president on March 9.
Serbia and Montenegro: The prime minister of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj, resigns. Adem Salihaj becomes acting prime minister. On March 18 President Ibrahim Rugova nominates Bajram Kosumi as prime minister; he is confirmed (71-36) on March 23.
Turkmenistan: Jumaniyaz Annaorazov is appointed as finance minister.
United States: In mayoral elections in Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa (Dem.) wins 33.1% of the vote, incumbent James K. Hahn (Dem.) 23.6%, Bob Hertzberg (Dem.) 22%, and Bernard Parks (Dem.) 13.6%. A runoff will be held May 17.


Russia: President Vladimir Putin dismisses the governor of Koryak autonomous okrug, Vladimir Loginov, and appoints Oleg Kozhemyako as acting governor. The same day Putin nominates incumbent Yury Neyelov as governor of Yamalo-Nenets autonomous okrug; he is confirmed by the local parliament on March 11 (21-0).


China: The chief executive of Hong Kong, Tung Chee-hwa, resigns. The resignation is accepted by the central government on March 12, and Chief Secretary Donald Tsang becomes acting chief executive.
Lebanon: President Émile Lahoud reappoints Omar Karami as prime minister.
Mexico: Former governor of Zacatecas (1974-80) Fernando Pámanes Escobedo dies.


Thailand: Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra appoints his new cabinet, including Kantathi Suphamongkhon as foreign minister, Thammarak Isarangura as defense minister, and Gen. Chidchai Vanasatidya as interior minister; Somkid Jatusripitak retains the finance portfolio.


Greece: Karolos Papoulias is sworn in as president.


Central African Republic: In the first round of presidential elections, incumbent François Bozizé wins 43% of the vote, former prime minister Martin Ziguélé of the Liberation Movement of the Central African People (MLPC) 23.5%, former president André Kolingba of the Central African Democratic Rally (RDC) 16.4%, former prime minister Jean-Paul Ngoupandé of the Party for National Unity (PUN) 5.1%, Charles Massi (Democratic Forum for Modernity) 3.2%, and Vice President Abel Goumba (Patriotic Front for Progress) 2.5%. Turnout is 68.3%. A runoff is to be held May 1. In the first round of parliamentary elections, the MLPC wins 8 seats, the RDC 3, the National Convergence coalition (supporting Bozizé) 1, the Liberal Democratic Party 1, the PUN 1, and independents 3; the remaining 88 of the 105 seats will be decided in the second round.
Kyrgyzstan: In the second round of parliamentary elections, 39 seats are allocated. One seat remains undecided because a majority of voters voted against all candidates. Turnout is about 60%. The majority of the elected members are nonpartisans supporting President Askar Akayev; the opposition will control about 6 seats.
Liechtenstein: In parliamentary elections held March 11 and 13, the Progressive Citizens' Party wins 48.7% of the vote (12 of 25 seats), the Fatherland Union 38.2% (10), and the Free List 13% (3). Turnout is 86.5%.
Tanzania: Former foreign minister (1990-93) Ahmed Hassan Diria dies.


Indonesia: Thamrin is sworn in as acting governor of Sumatera Barat.


Central African Republic: President François Bozizé sacks his vice president, Abel Goumba.
Madagascar: New chiefs of regions are named: Pierre Manganirina Randrianarisoa (Analamanga), René Rasolofoarimanana (Amoron'i Mania), Moana Essa Raseta (Ihorombe), Richardin Redeck Rafaralahy (Sofia), Julien Andriamorasata (Atsinanana), and Luc Loyola Bréchard (Androy).
Pakistan: Khalilur Rehman is sworn in as governor of North-West Frontier Province.
Russia: President Vladimir Putin nominates incumbent Mintimer Shaymiyev as president of Tatarstan. He is confirmed by the local State Council (parliament) on March 25 (89-4 with 1 abstention).


The Netherlands: Former foreign minister (1977-81) Chris van der Klaauw dies.
Tonga: In parliamentary elections, the Human Rights and Democracy Movement wins 7 of the 9 popularly-elected seats, and independents 2.


Germany: In four rounds of voting, the Landtag of Schleswig-Holstein fails to elect a minister-president. In the first round 34 of 69 votes are cast for incumbent Heide Simonis (Social Democratic Party) and 33 for Peter Harry Carstensen (Christian Democratic Union), with two abstentions. In each of the following rounds, both Simonis and Carstensen win 34 votes, with one abstention.
Netherlands Antilles: Former prime minister (1971, 1972-73) Ramez J. Isa dies.


Indonesia: Lucky Harry Korah is sworn in as acting governor of Sulawesi Utara.
Mongolia: Parliament approves the appointment of Tserenkhuugiyn Sharavdorj as defense minister.


Switzerland: Former president of the government of Zürich (1984-85) Albert Sigrist dies.


Estonia: Prime Minister Juhan Parts announces his resignation, to take effect March 24. On March 31 President Arnold Rüütel asks Andrus Ansip to form a government.


Namibia: Hifikepunye Pohamba is sworn in as president. He appoints Nahas Angula as prime minister. In the new cabinet, Marco Hausiku remains foreign minister and Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila finance minister, while Rosalia Nghidinwa becomes minister of home affairs and Peter Tshirumbu Tsheehama acting defense minister.


Burundi: Interior Minister Simon Nyandwi dies.
Norway: Former governor of Hordaland (1966-84) Lars Leiro dies.


Argentina: Gerardo Zamora takes office as governor of Santiago del Estero.
Indonesia: Sodjuangon Situmorang is sworn in as acting governor of Kalimantan Tengah.
Kyrgyzstan: President Askar Akayev sacks Interior Minister Bakirdin Subanbekov and names Keneshbek Dushebayev as new interior minister.
Papua New Guinea: Peter Wararu Waranaka is elected governor of East Sepik.



Kyrgyzstan: Protesters seize the government headquarters and President Askar Akayev flees the country. The Supreme Court cancels the results of the recent parliamentary elections. Prime Minister Nikolay Tanayev tenders his resignation. The upper house of the (old) parliament elects Ishenbay Kadyrbekov as its speaker, who is to serve as acting president. The lower house, early on March 25, names Kurmanbek Bakiyev acting prime minister, who is later in the day also appointed acting president. He appoints Roza Otunbayeva acting foreign minister, Gen. Ismail Isakov acting defense minister, Myktybek Abdyldayev acting interior minister, and Akylbek Japarov acting finance minister. On March 27 the Constitutional Court reverts the decision of the Supreme Court, and on March 28 Bakiyev is confirmed as prime minister by the new parliament.
Zambia: Wamundila Muliokela is appointed defense minister.


Australia: Former governor of Victoria (1986-92) Davis McCaughey dies.
Ecuador: Interior Minister Xavier Ledesma resigns. Óscar Ayerve is named interior minister.
Russia: President Vladimir Putin nominates Vyacheslav Dudka as governor of Tula oblast. Dudka is confirmed by the local parliament on March 30 (38-0 with 1 abstention) and is to take office on April 29.


United Kingdom: James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan, former foreign secretary (1974-76) and prime minister (1976-79), dies.


Hungary: Former chairman of the Presidential Council (1967-87) Pál Losonczi dies.


Bosnia and Herzegovina: High Representative Paddy Ashdown sacks the Croat member of the Presidency, Dragan Covic.
Mauritania: In a cabinet reshuffle, Lemrabott Sidi Mahmoud Ould Cheikh Ahmed is named interior minister.


Czech Republic: The ministers of the KDU-CSL, including Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda, resign.
Russia: The Altay kray Council of People's Deputies (parliament) adopts a no-confidence motion against Head of Administration Mikhail Yevdokimov (46-5). On the same day the head of the Altay republic, Mikhail Lapshin, survives a no-confidence motion in the local State Assembly (22-14; 28 votes would have been needed for the motion to succeed).
World Bank: The board approves the nomination of Paul Wolfowitz as president. He is to take office June 1.
Zimbabwe: In parliamentary elections, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front wins 58.8% of the vote (78 of 150 seats) and the Movement for Democratic Change 37.5% (41). One independent wins a seat; there will be 20 presidential appointees and 10 ex-officio members (traditional chiefs).